Scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit also known as petrol on Monday hit Damaturu, the capital of Yobe, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN correspondent who visited eight filling stations in the town observed that seven of them were shut down.
The stations visited by NAN at Potiskum Road included Total, AP and Hesen Petrol Station, while the only station visited at Gashua Road was Sedan Petrol Station.
Also, shut down at Gujiba Road were MB Maidoki Oil Nig. Ltd, AA Abuja and Sons Nig. Ltd and Dumburga Petroleum Ltd.
At Dumburga Petroleum Ltd, our correspondent saw a long queue of tricycles at the gate, in spite of being shut down.
One of the tricycle operators, Tijjani Bakoro, alleged that the station was hoarding fuel.
“Sooner or later, they are coming to sell fuel for us because we know that they have fuel; so we will not leave until they come,” he alleged.
Another operator, Aminu Mohammed, said the scarcity had brought untold hardship to him and his customers.
“Before this scarcity, I use between eight 10 litres per day at the cost of N165 per litre.
“But now we are compelled to buy fuel from black marketers at the cost of N500 or above per litre.
“As a result of this, we increased the price of drop, but commuters are refusing to pay,” he said.
Yunusa Baba-Saleh, another operator called on the state government to assist them by identifying the problem and finding a lasting solution.
The station manager was not available for interview, and when NAN contacted him on telephone, he declined comment.
However, NNPC Mega Station at Maiduguri Road was open and selling petrol at official pump price of N165 per litre, but a long queue of motorists was observed NAN correspondent.
When contacted, Alhaji Kawu Hussaini, State Chairman, NUPENG, Petrol Station Workers (PSW) denied the allegations that filling stations were hoarding their products.
“I am not aware of hoarding of fuel by any station in Damaturu.
“Nevertheless, we will go round and investigate and I want to assure you that if any marketer is found wanting, he will be sanctioned,” he said.
Hussaini, however, attributed the current fuel scarcity in the town partly to the refusal by some truck drivers to load Damaturu-bound petrol as a result of security challenges.
“Any truck loaded with petrol coming from Lagos, Port Harcourt or Kaduna to Damaturu must proceed to NNPC depot in Maiduguri for clearance before coming back to Damaturu because there is no depot here.
“Due to the incessant attacks by insurgents on Damaturu to Maiduguri Road, many of these drivers are shying away from carrying petrol meant for Damaturu.
“The truth is that we marketers in Damaturu, do not have strong capital base like our colleagues in Potiskum, for example, who can order for fuel from wherever they want.
“We rely on trucks that a billed for NNPC Depot, Maiduguri, ” he said.
The chairman also called on the Federal Government to establish more depots in the country for availability of petroleum products. (NAN)